If you’re looking to beef up your business marketing efforts, you’ve probably heard or read about content marketing. Content marketing has been on the rise over the past few years, but what exactly is it?
Content Marketing Institute (CMI), an online resource designed to advance the practice of content marketing, defines the concept as follows:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
It is, in essence, marketing to customers using content that is of value in some way: teaching them to solve a problem, educating them about something of use, entertaining them — you get the idea.
Types of content
What type of content are we talking about? The content that’s at the heart of content marketing can take on many forms, including the following:
- Blog posts (lists, guides, analysis, etc.)
- Downloadable white papers or eBooks
Why content marketing?
Why put the time into content marketing? The content you create serves a number of valuable purposes:
- Great content can differentiate you from your competitors by setting you apart as an expert.
- You can use it for lead nurturing purposes, collecting email addresses or other information in exchange for content.
- Your customers may share your content with their friends and followers on social media, spreading the word about your business or brand.
- Regular content will ensure that you’re top of mind for consumers, so when they’re ready to buy a product in your realm, they’ll come to you.
Content marketing through the ages
Content marketing has been practiced for centuries. This great video from CMI shares the history of content marketing:
Are you using content marketing for your business? In the coming weeks, we’ll be sharing tips and insights to help you up your content marketing game. Stay tuned.